STAT 2301:  Statistics for Business Decisions


Course Description

This course introduces students to basic statistical concepts and techniques needed for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative information required for making sound business decisions. The overall theme of the course is looking at information in order to solve business problems intelligently. Emphasis in the course is neither on algebraic derivations nor on the memorization of mathematical formulas, but on using graphical and numerical methods to convey information on business processes. This information can be critically important for making business decisions in a competitive marketplace. No previous knowledge of statistics is required for this course.

Instructor Biography

Jing Cao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Southern Methodist University. She joined SMU in 2005 after she received her Ph.D. degree in Statistics from University of Missouri at Columbia. She has been conducting research in statistical sciences for more than 10 years. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a NIH (National Institutes of Health) grant and she also serves as a regular panel reviewer for NIH. She has been teaching STAT 2301 and other statistics courses at SMU since 2005.

Learning Outcomes and Benefits

After this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand and explain quantitative information using graphs, tables, and summary statistics (e.g., means, proportions, standard deviations).
  • Apply the basic principles of statistical sampling and critique the validity of observed samples.
  • Calculate probabilities for some key probability distributions (e.g., normal distribution).
  • Understand and explain the critical concept of variability in data and summary statistics.
  • Calculate, correctly use, and correctly interpret inferential statistics for means and proportions.
  • Identify the appropriate method to apply in the context of a real-world problem related to making business decisions.
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